Crypto Hiring: Ex-Coinbase pro now leads Uniswap’s legal unit

Also, former legal head at Digital Currency Group joins law firm to expand blockchain capabilities

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Uniswap has a new chief legal officer, and the legal head at Digital Currency Group has moved on to expand blockchain capabilities at a law firm.

Katherine Minarik joined Uniswap from Coinbase, where she was vice president of legal and deputy general counsel. She is set to replace Marvin Ammori, who held the decentralized exchange’s CLO post since 2020. 

Ammori is set to shift later this year to a part-time role focused on global public policy for DeFi, he said in an X post — adding that he made the decision to spend more time with his young family.

The now former CLO called Minarik the “key architect” of Coinbase’s litigation strategy and noted her background at litigation firm Bartlit Beck. The publicly traded crypto exchange has been entrenched in a legal battle with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a year.

The SEC sent a Wells notice — which typically precedes enforcement actions — to Uniswap in April. The regulator argues the Uniswap protocol is an unregistered securities exchange, Ammori told CNBC — claims the company refutes.   

Read more: SEC signals to Uniswap that enforcement actions are looming

“We articulated our views in our Wells Response filed with the SEC in May,” Ammori said in the X post. “If the SEC does move forward with litigation, we expect to win.”

Speaking of crypto legal professionals moving around, Mike Katz is now a partner at professional services firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. 

Katz was previously head of legal for Digital Currency Group. In his new role, the executive is set to help Manatt expand its blockchain capabilities.

He brings a “unique understanding of the legal and business aspects of decentralized finance, blockchain and AI sectors as well as the investments and growth opportunities within,” Manatt CEO Donna Wilson said in a statement.

Other notable developments

  • BitMEX co-founder Arthur Hayes, who is also the chief investment officer at Maelstrom, joined blockchain data infrastructure company Covalent as a strategic adviser. 
  • Shodipo Ayomide, an ex-global head of developer advocacy at Polygon, now leads developer relations at layer-1 data ecosystem Nuklai.
  • Elliott Suthers, the former head of communications at Coinbase, now leads EMEA comms for Tools for Humanity — a contributor to Worldcoin.
  • Blockchain infrastructure firm Paxos cut roughly 20% of its workforce (65 people), The Block reported.

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